The Tatler 10: Kayla Wong Of Basics For Basics
As the daughter of actor Michael Wong and former model Janet Ma, Kayla Wong is used to being in the spotlight with many labels to her name—chief among them a budding philanthropist and LGBT activist—but the label we’re focusing on now is Kayla Wong, the entrepreneur.
Kayla is the founder of ethical clothing company Basics for Basics, a platform which designs and sells ready-to-wear clothes. Although her business currently focuses on fashion, Kayla tells us why she’s hoping to turn it into a social enterprise down the road that helps bring like-minded people together.
In our latest edition of the Tatler 10, a column where we pose 10 questions to Hong Kong-based entrepreneurs about their businesses, we asked Kayla where she finds inspiration and the perks of running your own business.
What does Hong Kong mean to you?
I love that Hong Kong is where different cultures collide and where people constantly find inspiration—I find that the city is filled with a sense of adventure, which I love it’s what keeps me here.
Summarise your business in one sentence.
I graduated from fashion school and had no interest in becoming an actress nor did I have the height to model but I was always fascinated by the fashion industry. Last year, I launched Basics for Basics, an ethical clothing brand aligned with my own values, which are to promote equal and fair treatment to all.
See also: The Tatler 10: Harris Chan
What is your proudest accomplishment?
Getting our online shop up and running was quite a task that I’m proud of and we also recently started our rewards program with HandsOn Hong Kong.
What do you love most about running your own business?
I love the creative flexibility it offers and being able to think outside the box, there’s a sense of freedom that comes with running your own business that is easy to fall in love with.
What advice can you offer budding entrepreneurs?
I would say to take your time and not rush into things. There is so much to learn and entrepreneurs are constantly learning and businesses are always works in progress, so I think it’s important to really absorb as much as you can while you’re in the early stages of launching.
As an entrepreneur, what do you think sets your business apart from the competition?
My aim with Basics for Basics is for it not to simply remain as a clothing label but more of a lifestyle—as an ethical clothing label I hope to educate people on the issues posed by the fashion industry and to engage people to become more involved in causes close to their hearts, whether that’s fashion or something totally separate.
Who inspires you and why?
My mother is one of the strongest people I know, she loves unconditionally and I love her for that. Another lady I admire is Christina Dean because of her commitment to sustainable fashion and what she’s done with Redress.
Looking back, do you wish you had done anything differently?
I wish I had taken more time to plan everything out—I’m not much of a planner, I tend to follow my heart and can be quite impulsive, which can be both good and bad. However, I’m definitely learning in time and taking notes as I go along.
See also: The Tatler 10: Elsa Lepau and Johanna El Iman
What’s your end goal?
My end goal is to build a community of like-minded people who can continue to bring positivity and love through fashion, or whatever they are passionate about.
What are your words to live by?
Above all, love comes first.
See other Tatler 10 interviews with Cassandra Choi, Carmen Choi, and Nana Chan.